Today, the Connecticut Senate approved S.B. 5, a pro-voter measure that includes: codifying Automatic Voter Registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles and adding additional state agencies; expansion of absentee voting; making use of ballot drop-boxes permanent; improved access for language-minority voters; and restoring voting rights for people on parole.
The bill now heads to the House for consideration and passage.
Statement of Cheri Quickmire, Executive Director of Common Cause in Connecticut
Our government ‘by the people’ works better when more people can participate.
We discovered during November’s election that voters appreciate having more options about how to vote. Connecticut had record voter turnout because of the temporary changes made to ensure safe voting during the pandemic.
While some state legislatures are trying to limit voter participation, Connecticut’s General Assembly is working to reduce barriers and improve voting access. The bill passed today is an important part of that effort, and we urge the House to approve it quickly.
Restoring voting rights to community residents on parole will invite returning citizens back into our democracy, re-enfranchising thousands of our community members.
Automatic Voter Registration will enable every eligible Connecticut voter to be automatically registered to vote when they visit the DMV or other government office, unless they opt out.
Improved access for language-minority voters will help ensure that all voters’ voices can be heard, and our ballots counted. Our elected officials should represent everyone, including communities that have been traditionally underrepresented.
These changes are strongly supported by Common Cause in Connecticut members. More than 1,100 Common Cause in Connecticut members have contacted their state legislators to support the provisions included in S.B. 5.
Putting all of these improvements in one package — and passing it — represents a real commitment to improving voters’ access to the ballot box. We applaud the Senate’s action, and urge the House to also pass S.B. 5.